Entertainment law includes legal services, such as contracts and copyrights, that are aimed at protecting pieces of entertainment like books, movies and visual arts. Plagiarism and other types of exploitation often threaten the products of those who work in the entertainment industries. Copyright and trademark laws in South Dakota are intended to protect the intellectual property rights of those who work in the entertainment field.

What is A Copyright?

A copyright for a specific piece of entertainment means that a party has the exclusive right to produce it. If others want to use it, they must first get consent from the copyright holder. Under South Dakota law, the holder of a copyright has the right to negotiate licenses for the production of the copyrighted material that others might want to use. Entertainment law governs whether you can get a copyright, how to apply for one, and how long it lasts once issued. A copyright will allow you to profit from licensing your material to others, or it may simply protect your rights in the piece of entertainment for the future.

What is a Trademark?

Commercial brands sometimes choose visible characteristics or symbols that are intended to be associated with their products. These symbols are called trademarks. They can go a long way in the entertainment industry to help buyers better recognize your products. Trademarks, unlike copyrights, do not expire. However, they must be registered with the U.S. patent and trademark office. Once you have your trademark, establishing brand identity becomes much easier.

How Can a South Dakota Attorney Help?

An attorney in Madison has knowledge of entertainment law in your area, and can give you the information you need to decide whether you need a trademark or copyright. Also, attorneys may give direction on how to best proceed when seeking a copyright or trademark recognition in South Dakota.